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Heat pumps are a promising technology for heating (and cooling) domestic buildings that provide exceptionally high efficiencies compared with fossil fuel combustion. There are in the region of a billion heat pumps in use world-wide, but despite their maturity they are a relatively new technology to many regions. This article gives an overview of the state-of-the-art technologies and the practical issues faced when installing and operating them. It focuses on the performance obtained in real-world operation, surveying the published efficiency figures for hundreds of air source and ground source heat pumps (ASHP and GSHP), and presenting a method to relate these to results from recent UK and German field trials. It also covers commercial aspects of the technologies, the typical savings in primary energy usage, carbon dioxide emissions abatement that can be realised, and wider implications of their uptake.
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Energy & Environmental Science
- Information Point